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Summary record of the 5th meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 5 October 2005, General Assembly, 60th session

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/60/SR.5
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 60th
Type Document

8 p.

Subjects Youth, Persons with Disabilities, AIDS Prevention

Extracted Text

United Nations A/C.3/60/SR.5
General Assembly
Sixtieth session
Official Records
Distr.: General
26 October 2005
Original: English
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member
of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the
Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a
copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each
05-53683 (E)
Third Committee
Summary record of the 5th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 5 October 2005, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Butagira. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Uganda)
later: Mr. Anshor (Vice-Chairman) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Indonesia)
Agenda item 61: Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social
Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly
Agenda item 62: Social development, including questions relating to the world
social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family (continued)*
Agenda item 63: Follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons: Second
World Assembly on Ageing (continued)*
* Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda item 61: Implementation of the outcome of
the World Summit for Social Development and of the
twenty-fourth special session of the General
Assembly (continued) (A/60/80 and A/60/111)
Agenda item 62: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
(continued) (A/60/61-E/2005/7, A/60/117, 128, 133 and
133/Corr.1, 138, 155, 156, 290 and A/60/377-E/2005/92)
Agenda item 63: Follow-up to the International Year
of Older Persons: Second World Assembly on Ageing
(continued) (A/60/151 and A/60/377-E/2005/92)
1. Mr. Tarp (Denmark), representing the Danish
Council of Organizations of Disabled People and
speaking under agenda item 62, said that the
Millennium Development Goals would not be achieved
unless the most vulnerable group, persons with
disabilities, was included. More than two thirds of such
persons lived in developing countries and most of them
were the poorest among the poor, lagging behind the
standard of living enjoyed by even poor non-disabled
persons. Poverty-eradication programmes should
therefore always aim at providing the disabled with
basic necessities. Moreover, since such persons needed
education even more than the non-disabled, children
with disabilities should benefit from affirmative action
in all education programmes, without which they had
no chance on the labour market. Special attention
should also be given to women with disabilities,
notably under the Millennium Goals, while care should
be taken not to overlook the Millennium Goal of
eradicating polio.
2. Referring to the ongoing negotiations for a
United Nations convention on the rights of persons
with disabilities, which he was confident would
become a reality by 2007, he welcomed the
involvement of organizations of disabled persons in the
work of the Ad Hoc Committee set up for that purpose.
It was important for Governments to make regular
contributions to the Voluntary Fund established to
enable such organizations, particularly from
developing countries, to participate in its sessions. In
conclusion, he expressed the hope that the United
Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities would be

revised so as to guarantee such persons full enjoyment
and effective protection of all human rights.
3. Mr. Chem Widhya (Cambodia), speaking under
agenda item 61, welcomed the emphasis that continued
to be placed on the three core issues identified at the
1995 World Summit for Social Development in
Copenhagen, namely, poverty eradication, full
employment and social integration. However, the bulk
of the world’s population still suffered from poverty
and its ills. A multilayered and multisectoral approach
was needed to overcome that scourge. Accordingly, his
Government had developed a national povertyreduction
strategy aimed at ensuring a justice system
supportive of people’s rights, a system of local
governance that empowered people and communities,
effective provision of public services and systematic
efforts against corruption. However, national efforts to
eradicate poverty would founder unless the
international environment was conducive to the
development process.
4. A particular obstacle to social development in his
country was HIV/AIDS, against which his Government
had similarly developed a national plan. He appealed to
the international community to honour its
commitments by giving assistance to countries affected
by the pandemic.
5. The promotion of full employment was a priority
for the Government of Cambodia, particularly in
agriculture, a key sector, but also in tourism and
labour-intensive industries and services. In order to
ensure Cambodia’s competitiveness among regional
players in the global market, more attention would be
given to the development of technology and
knowledge-based industries.
6. Lastly, in the interests of social integration, the
authorities were taking measures to promote gender
equality, respond to the concerns of persons with
disabilities, older and displaced persons, and ensure
grass-roots participation in decision-making through
decentralized governance.
7. Ms. Al-Shamisi (United Arab Emirates), said
that, 10 years after the Copenhagen Summit, half the
world population continued to lack the basic conditions
for living with dignity. It was therefore important to
make increased efforts to implement the
recommendations of United Nations conferences on
social development with a view to creating a society fit

for all where people would enjoy security, stability and
8. The United Arab Emirates, for its part, had made
notable progress in most of the social-development
indices, as reflected in rising per capita income,
increased government expenditure on education and
health care, a higher percentage of women in gainful
employment, lower post-partum and infant mortality
and the eradication of dangerous diseases. Particular
importance was assigned to human-resource
development, including the provision of free education
at all levels, to meet employment needs, especially in
the private sector, which was the mainstay of the
national economy. The Government also gave special
attention to promoting the integration into society of
troubled youth and disabled persons. It sought to
enhance social solidarity in other ways as well, notably
by supporting volunteer and humanitarian
organizations, which had contributed significantly to
welfare programmes and development programmes
both nationally and internationally. She singled out in
that respect her country’s Red Crescent organization,
which was active in 95 countries in the world.
9. Ms. Otiti (Uganda) welcomed the emphasis
placed in the Secretary-General’s reports dealing with
social development on the essential rural component of
national development as a mitigating factor against
urban and rural poverty and large-scale migration.
Stressing the importance of universal primary
education, she said that the implementation of povertyeradication
strategies required the support of
development partners, in particular through increased
official development assistance. Referring with
appreciation to the World Youth Report 2005, she said
that in Uganda the participation of young people in
decision-making was ensured at all levels, including
the family, the community, schools and Parliament.
Information and communication technology was
important in facilitating such participation, with due
regard for interpersonal and cultural norms.
10. The needs of older persons were of great concern,
rendered more acute by the threats posed to family
structures by poverty and disease, in particular
HIV/AIDS which, if not curbed, would make ageing an
unattainable privilege. She therefore welcomed recent
developments within the United Nations system in
favour of older persons, especially the follow-up being
given to the Madrid Plan of Action adopted by the
Second World Assembly on Ageing, referring in

particular to the needs of developing countries and
rural areas. She emphasized in that connection the
contribution that could be made by volunteerism.
11. Concerning the rights of persons with disabilities,
she looked forward to the successful conclusion of
ongoing efforts to negotiate a United Nations
convention on that subject and urged greater use of
inputs from developing countries and increased support
for such countries to conduct their own studies.
12. U Maung Wai (Myanmar) expressed satisfaction
that the Declaration on the tenth anniversary of the
World Summit for Social Development, adopted by the
Commission for Social Development in February 2005,
had reaffirmed that enhanced international cooperation
at the national level was essential for implementation
of the Copenhagen commitments. He hoped that the
financial mechanisms called for would soon
13. With respect to poverty alleviation, the
Government of Myanmar had launched three
development programmes to achieve balanced growth
throughout the country and narrow the gap between the
rich and the poor. On the issue of disability rights, it
had taken measures to enable persons with disabilities
to take advantage of rehabilitation services, participate
in productive work and become more self-reliant. In
addition, a new law was currently being prepared as
part of the effort to ensure equal opportunities for such
persons, both in education and in employment.
Referring, in conclusion, to the follow-up to the
International Year of Older Persons, he said that the
International Day of Older Persons had been observed
nationwide in his country since 1999 in order to
develop awareness of the needs of such persons and
promote collaboration between governmental and nongovernmental
organizations, media, private entities and
youth in caring for them. Myanmar remained
committed to the Madrid Plan of Action and to creating
a society for all ages.
14. Mr. Alaie (Islamic Republic of Iran), referring to
the Report on the World Social Situation 2005
(A/60/117/Rev.1), said it was regrettable that the 10
principal commitments entered into at the World
Summit for Social Development and endorsed in the
United Nations Millennium Declaration had not been
implemented as expected. Certain policies and
practices had exacerbated inequalities in many parts of
the world, particularly in terms of access to education.

15. A shortage of human and financial resources
continued to hinder the achievement of socialdevelopment
goals. In some cases, rapid economic
growth and liberalization had aggravated social and
cultural problems. Protection for the older members of
society was becoming a more pressing need as
populations aged. In addition, specific policies and
measures were needed to avert the disintegration of
family life.
16. Governments bore the main responsibility for
eliminating inequality, discrimination and social
disintegration by enacting and enforcing appropriate
laws, providing employment with adequate income,
ensuring public participation in decision-making and
policy implementation, investing in social
development, caring for the vulnerable, providing
opportunities for advancement, and maintaining peace,
security and stability.
17. Despite the adoption by the General Assembly 10
years previously of the World Programme of Action for
Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, the World Youth
Report 2005 indicated some alarming trends with
regard to poverty, lack of school enrolment and
illiteracy among young people. Youth unemployment
was highest in Western Asia and Africa and was
exacerbated by globalization. Early pregnancy and the
rate of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse among young people
were still major sources of concern. All Governments
needed to encourage investment to provide for the
needs of young people, especially with regard to
education and health care. Young people, particularly
the most vulnerable groups, such as those with
disabilities, should be treated with dignity and with
respect for their rights so that they would grow up to
be responsible members of society. It was to be hoped
that the ongoing efforts to draft a convention on the
rights and dignity of persons with disabilities would
soon come to fruition.
18. Social development was a crucial element of the
Millennium Development Goals. Increased
international cooperation was needed to meet the
targets by 2015, and developed countries, with their
substantial capacities and resources, should shoulder
the main responsibility in that regard. In an
increasingly globalized and interdependent world, the
suffering of one country affected all countries.
Collective action and renewed commitment,
particularly on the part of developed countries, would

help to bring about prosperity and well-being for all
19. Mr. Amolo (Kenya), speaking on agenda item 61,
said that the struggle to eradicate poverty, promote
employment and foster social integration presented a
profound challenge to many developing countries,
including Kenya. Although much had been achieved in
implementing the commitments adopted by the World
Summit for Social Development, much still remained
to be done. The Copenhagen Declaration on Social
Development had emphasized the need to prioritize
social development and had provided a framework for
doing so. However, the commitments outlined in the
Programme of Action had not been incorporated
coherently into national laws, policies and
20. Kenya had launched initiatives for poverty
reduction, such as a poverty-reduction strategy and the
current economic-recovery Strategy for Wealth and
Employment Creation. In addition, the Poverty
Eradication Commission was coordinating public and
private initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty. The
recently launched Millennium Development Goals
needs assessment and costing report indicated that
Kenya required some $3 billion annually to bridge the
funding gap in order to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals. Implementation of Goal 8, which
called for a global partnership for development, would
therefore be necessary if Kenya were to meet the
targets by 2015.
21. Kenya had developed specific policies to address
the needs of young people, the aged, women and the
disabled. Young people, who constituted over 60
per cent of the country’s population, were the hardest
hit by poverty. The Government had financed rural
youth-development projects aimed at creating jobs, and
a sessional paper on youth policy was awaiting
parliamentary debate. The implementation of universal
free primary education and the adoption of the
Disability Act 2004 had brought social and economic
benefits but were also exerting extra pressure on the
country’s scarce resources. The Government needed
external financial assistance to meet the challenges of
raising the retirement age and introducing an
affordable and accessible health-care plan.
22. Globalization and rapid technological advances
had adversely affected Kenya’s economy. Unfair
competition, rising production costs and Western

agricultural subsidies had led to the closure of many
industrial concerns. The resultant job losses had led to
increased pressure on social services and amenities and
constituted a threat to social integration.
23. Each country had an individual role to play in
promoting social development, but collaboration would
enable the desired results to be achieved more quickly.
The necessary normative framework was in place; what
was needed now was political will and active
participation. Success would come if every country set
its sights on the prize: the eradication of poverty,
inequality and social exclusion.
24. Mr. Phanouvong (Lao People’s Democratic
Republic), speaking on agenda item 62, welcomed the
World Youth Report 2005, which showed that progress
had been made in a number of areas in implementing
the World Programme of Action for Youth. However,
there remained many obstacles to further progress,
which particularly affected young people in developing
countries. Hunger, poverty, inadequate access to
education, gender inequality, health problems, drug
abuse and delinquency were the major problems for
young people that still needed to be addressed by the
international community. The complex nature of those
problems and the linkages between them resulting from
globalization meant that all nations had to work
together to overcome them.
25. From the time of its foundation in 1955, the Lao
Youth Union had played an active part in the struggle
for national independence. Since the liberation of the
country in 1975, the Union had become a mass
organization with more than 200,000 members, 80,000
of whom were women. The Union’s objectives were to
promote solidarity among young people and involve
them in national development, to promote education, to
raise awareness of health issues, to inspire a spirit of
patriotism, and to contribute to the promotion of peace,
friendship, cooperation and development.
26. The Lao Youth Union also took part in the
formulation of national youth policy and in efforts to
promote the socio-economic development of the
country. As a landlocked least developed country, the
Lao People’s Democratic Republic still faced
difficulties in many areas. He therefore appealed to the
international community to provide more assistance,
particularly in the areas of education, health care, and
information and communication technologies, so that

his country could ensure a better future for its younger
27. Mr. Anshor (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman, took the
28. Mr. Nsemi (Congo), speaking on item 61, said
that, 10 years after the World Summit for Social
Development, the socio-economic disparities between
rich countries and developing countries had widened.
His delegation endorsed the conclusions of the fortythird
session of the Commission for Social
Development, which highlighted the uneven progress
made in achieving the goals adopted at the Summit and
stressed that additional efforts were needed.
29. The Congo was determined to implement the
commitments entered into at the World Summit for
Social Development and the Millennium Summit. For
that reason, despite its debt burden, it was paying
particular attention to poverty reduction. Under its
development policy, a detailed programme for the
elimination of inequalities had been drawn up for
2004-2009, in line with the poverty-reduction strategy
paper negotiated with the international financial
institutions. The Government had allocated substantial
resources to the implementation of the programme but
also required the assistance of development partners.
30. Unemployment — particularly among young
people, who made up more than 50 per cent of the
country’s population — was a major cause of concern
to the Congolese Government. For that reason, it had
introduced a programme for the reintegration of excombatants,
which had already achieved some success.
He expressed his Government’s appreciation for the
funding received for the programme from the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World
Bank and the European Union. He also thanked the
Government of Japan for its contribution to the UNDP
“youth at risk” project in the Congo. Nonetheless,
much remained to be done in order to create the
conditions of lasting peace and security necessary for
development, and the Congo counted on the support of
its development partners in that endeavour.
31. HIV/AIDS was one of the major causes of
morbidity and mortality in the Congo, and the
Government had established a national plan to combat
the pandemic for 2003 to 2007, as well as a National
Council to Combat HIV/AIDS under the personal
authority of the Head of State. His Government
welcomed the announcement of a substantial grant

from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria and the recent commitment by the Group of
Eight industrialized countries to ensure that African
AIDS victims received the treatment they needed by
2010. It also welcomed the Group’s commitment to
increase official development assistance and its
decision to cancel the debts of 18 of the most heavily
indebted countries, most of which were in Africa. He
encouraged the Group to come up with further
proposals for development financing in addition to
their debt-relief initiatives.
32. The objectives set out at the World Summit for
Social Development and the Millennium Development
Goals could be achieved only through joint action by
the international community. The Congo would
continue to play its part in those efforts.
33. Mr. Tesfu (Ethiopia), speaking on item 61,
welcomed the progress made in many areas of social
development, as outlined at the forty-third session of
the Commission for Social Development, but noted
that progress was not consistent among all regions or
among different groups within each country. In
particular, unemployment had risen since the World
Summit for Social Development and high levels of
income inequality both within and among countries
34. Advances in social development at the global
level had not fully materialized in sub-Saharan Africa.
Poverty continued to rise and more than one third of
the population was undernourished. Both
unemployment and underemployment in the region
were high. Progress in democratization and good
governance had furthered social integration to some
extent, but the challenge remained enormous. Conflict,
instability, drought and HIV/AIDS continued to
hamper the region’s social and economic development.
The commitment made by world leaders at
Copenhagen to accelerate development in Africa had
yet to be fulfilled.
35. Ethiopia had taken important steps to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals, which, in its view,
incorporated the major commitments of Copenhagen. It
had adopted a sustainable-development and povertyreduction
programme and had begun implementing
policies in various sectors focusing on poverty
eradication. Some encouraging results had been
achieved: for example, the rate of primary-school
enrolment and the level of access to health services had

increased. Efforts were also under way to improve
social integration through reform of the civil service
and justice system. Democracy was taking root, as
shown by the holding in May 2005 of the country’s
third and most contested democratic election.
36. Achievement of the goal of social development
was primarily the responsibility of Governments, but
international cooperation was also imperative. He
therefore welcomed the recent commitments of donor
countries to increase official development assistance
and to cancel the debt of the poorest countries.
Ethiopia had done its share to promote social
development through the adoption and implementation
of appropriate policies. However, further progress
would require assistance from the international
community. The current low level of official
development assistance per capita annually was not
sufficient: the needs assessment carried out in Ethiopia
had shown that an eight-fold increase would be
required in order to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals by 2015.
37. Reaffirming his country’s commitment to socialdevelopment
ideals, he looked forward to the day when
the Assembly could celebrate the eradication of
absolute poverty and the restoration of dignity to all.
38. Mr. Limon (Suriname) said that sustained
progress in social development had not been achieved,
owing to the absence of an enabling environment. His
delegation believed that the advancement of social
development depended on the participation of all
stakeholders and the ability to integrate social and
economic policies that improved opportunities and
quality of life for all.
39. Poverty remained one of the most discouraging
challenges facing the international community. In an
effort to minimize the vulnerability of the poor,
Suriname had established a social-security system for
vulnerable groups such as the elderly, youth, persons
with disabilities and the poor. The Government had
also formulated a development strategy involving the
private sector, trade unions and the community, and
had developed policies to facilitate access to labour
markets and enhance small entrepreneurship.
40. Although the primary responsibility for economic
and social development lay with each country, an
increase in resources was needed to meet development
goals. Economic downturns, declining health services
and lack of international support all affected the ability

of Governments, in the developing countries in
particular, to implement social policies required for the
betterment of their people.
41. The recently concluded World Summit had
reaffirmed the importance of development in
increasing world security and prosperity. Member
States had expressed their willingness to work towards
global development and were now looking to the
United Nations to show the way.
42. Mr. Gill (India) said that continued
implementation of the outcome of the World Summit
for Social Development and the twenty-fourth special
session was needed to ensure a coherent, peoplecentred
approach to development. India was concerned
about the uneven progress in the achievement of the
goals of the Summit and felt that the only way to
address the problem was through capacity-building in
developing countries, with the cooperation of the
international community.
43. The Indian Government had formulated several
development strategies in the fields of poverty
alleviation, demographics, education and health. As a
result, poverty had fallen to 26 per cent; the right to
work had been made a fundamental right; and every
rural household was guaranteed 100 days of work per
44. India endorsed the Secretary-General’s
recommendations in his report on the role of
cooperatives in the eradication of poverty and was
paying close attention to the development of
cooperatives in various areas, including agricultural
45. With respect to the United Nations Literacy
Decade, literacy rates in India had increased to over
two thirds and elementary education had been made a
fundamental right. The Government was proposing to
raise public spending on education and had set up a
National Commission on Education to allocate
resources and monitor programmes.
46. India wished to emphasize the importance of the
work being done by the United Nations agencies and
civil-society organizations to support Governments in
their efforts to care for ageing populations. India fully
supported the Madrid International Plan of Action on
Ageing and hoped that the ongoing negotiations on a
convention on disabilities would reach an early

47. Mr. Sadukov (Kazakhstan) said that, 10 years
after the adoption of the Copenhagen Programme of
Action, social-development issues were still on the
agenda; indeed, the economic and social indicators of
some countries had even worsened. Developed
countries had an obligation to increase international
assistance while developing countries were expected to
utilize that assistance as efficiently as possible.
48. Kazakhstan had consistently implemented the
decisions taken at Copenhagen and Madrid and
remained committed to the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals. The Government had
launched a comprehensive package of social reforms
and had increased education and health budgets.
Maternal and child health, care for the disabled and
housing shortages were also being addressed.
49. Noting that education was a prerequisite for entry
to the labour market, Kazakhstan had instituted a
number of measures including compulsory primary
education, free higher education and vocational
training, education loans and social protection of
50. With respect to care for older persons,
Kazakhstan believed that, in order to ensure
implementation of the Madrid International Plan of
Action on Ageing, the relevant United Nations
institutions needed to cooperate closely with
Governments by giving them technical and advisory
support. The Kazakh Government was currently
reforming its pension system and had instituted
compulsory individual health insurance to improve the
quality of life of the elderly.
51. In conclusion, he said it was vital that Member
States and specialized agencies took coordinated action
and implemented their obligations regarding the
development goals and other basic documents on social
52. Ms. Al-Hajiri (Qatar) said that the Copenhagen
World Summit and other recent conferences had
provided a sound basis for economic and social
development by establishing a basic human right to
development. But there could be no true development
without peace and stability, and greater efforts needed
to be made to end conflicts.
53. Qatar had in recent years enacted many laws to
promote development. The Supreme Council for
Family Affairs, established by royal decree under the

leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint
Nasser Al-Misnad, wife of the Emir, served all classes
of society, including children, youth, women, older
persons and the disabled. The Council had
implemented a programme of educational integration
for the disabled, and was developing a nationwide
strategy for youth and older persons. The Declaration
of the Doha International Conference on Ageing, held
in April 2005, had been circulated in document
A/60/377-E/2005/92. Qatar had also set aside $8
billion to endow two funds, one for education and one
for health.
54. Qatar, in addition to efforts for national
development, had also contributed generously to many
international institutions and funds to help achieve the
Millennium vision of reducing hunger and poverty.
Qatar called for concerted efforts for comprehensive
economic and social development, and for curtailing
the negative effects of globalization in the developing
countries, and especially the poorest countries.
55. Ms. Chenoweth (Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO)) said that
the 1995 World Summit for Social Development had
made a significant contribution to the promotion of
more equitable and people-centred sustainable
development, particularly in the area of the rights of
women and the disabled. However, the nature of
development challenges had changed since then;
problems such as HIV/AIDS, ageing and gender
inequality presented a major threat to social
development, economic growth and political stability.
56. One of the most serious challenges currently
facing mankind was hunger. FAO estimated that some
800 million people in the developing world were
chronically hungry. Trends during the 1990s had
revealed that, while some low-income countries had
managed to reduce hunger, the majority had not. In
general, the successful countries were characterized by
more rapid economic growth, slower population
growth, lower rates of HIV infection and a higher
ranking in the human-development index.
57. To achieve equitable social development,
countries needed to comprehend their social and
economic situation and the real needs of their people.
With respect to HIV/AIDS, which had struck the rural
poor in overwhelming numbers, effective solutions
would have to take into account all dimensions of the
rural and agricultural sectors.

58. FAO was ready to assist Member States in
achieving the internationally endorsed development
goals as soon as possible. Although tangible progress
had been made on many fronts, the battle for more
equitable social development would be won only when
men and women had equal access to productive
resources and when they could benefit from technical
and financial support as well as good governance and
the rule of law.
59. The goal of creating an enabling environment for
social development required close cooperation among
many actors at all levels. FAO was currently working
with the World Food Programme and the International
Fund for Agricultural Development to make a genuine
difference in the lives of the hungry and poor
throughout the developing world.
The meeting rose at 11.55 a.m.